Posts Tagged ‘Google’
Economists based in Google have predicted that an Internet boom in the UK could open as many as 365,000 jobs within the next five years, with the Internet accounting for a fifth of the regions GDP growth, The Telegraph reports.
Google’s European Vice-President and chief of search operations Philipp Schindler believes that despite European businesses fighting to remain afloat during a period of economic uncertainty, Internet-based or Internet-related companies that use the web successfully were still growing strongly.
“A study by McKinsey has shown that in France and in a mature economy like the UK, the internet is responsible for a fifth of GDP growth. In the UK, given the rate of job creation that economists associate with a rise in GDP, this translates into an expectation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs thanks to the internet,” he said.
“And I think that is on the conservative side. That is what could be achieved by putting a focus on this sector. That feels to me like a sizeable number.”
Schindler is in the UK to help drive Germany’s mid-sized sector, helping to drive the amount of goods exported by businesses in the region. He noted that for every pound that is imported, the UK exports “close to £3 in e-commerce goods and services”. He adds that the “UK is already doing relatively well in that sector but the ratio could be significantly higher”.
Are Any Of The Patents Google Got With Motorola Mobility Any Good?
from the does-it-even-matter? dept
With all of the attention Google bought for buying Motorola Mobility for its patents, one question that not too many people asked was whether or not those patents were any good. Of course, when you’re dealing with 17,000 patents and the fact that Google has shown no signs of planning to go on the offensive with patent fights, it seems clear that the point of getting this patent portfolio was very much about quantity over quality — mainly to ward off lawsuits from other big companies, with the recognition that somewhere in those 17,000 patents was probably something that the other company infringed upon.
Still, the folks at M-CAM decided to put the Motorola Mobility patent portfolio to the test by using a variety of scoring techniques, and believes that the portfolio isn’t all that valuable, both in the aggregate and at the specific level. It basically found that about 48% of the patents are probably worthless. At the specific level, the company looked at the 18 patents that Motorola Mobility had asserted against Apple, suggesting that these particular patents may be the “stars” of the bunch — but, again, found that nine of those patents were “impaired,” and were unlikely to be very strong or valuable.
The report notes that buying and maintaining dubious patents probably isn’t a particularly good value by itself:
Google is paying $12.5 billion for alleged assets that include a 17,000 patent portfolio, of which close to half appear to serve as deterrent value alone. The cost of maintaining patents of dubious quality will be an ongoing and potentially unnecessary liability to Google and its shareholders. Regrettably, close to half of the portfolio deemed “best” based on previous assertions have substantial weaknesses. Google’s patent stockpiling initiative appears to be focused entirely on deterrent value rather than on acquiring quality assets. Google shareholders may take some small solace in the adoption of a multi pronged defensive strategy, but may want to demand higher quality standards for the assets and liabilities acquired in future transactions.
Of course, if Google’s goal is longer term, it’s possible that this isn’t such a crazy deal. Already, we’ve seen that this acquisition alone has been a key driving force in getting lots of people (and especially the press) to admit that the patent system is clearly broken. Spending that much to get that kind of widespread awareness may be worth it… if it leads to real reform (which is still a big question mark). On top of that, if the quantity of patents has a deterrent value, no matter the quality of the overall bunch, it’s likely that Google will still find it “worth it.” However, the fact that it now needs to maintain these 17,000 patents, where approximately half may have no direct commercial value, really demonstrates (yet again) the massive “tax” of bad patents on companies.
Taken from The Guardian.
For several years now, Google has been following a vow made by former CEO Eric Schmidt: mobile first. New CEO Larry Page is taking that dictum to a new level by announcing a deal to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn.
The implications of this deal depend entirely on how Google plans to use Motorola. If, as some claim, the deal is more about obtaining Motorola’s mobile patent portfolio than anything else, we can expect escalating patent warfare between technology giants and limited innovation beyond that. If, however, Google intends to operate the business it is acquiring, we may see some broad and sweeping changes in the technology industry.
If the deal is chiefly about obtaining Motorola’s mobile patent portfolio, then Google would likely spin off the hardware end of the company and keep the software and patents. The patents would be vital weapons in its competition with Apple and Microsoft, as the two companies are using patent claims to try to slow the remarkable growth of Google’s Android operating system, which has become the most widely used smartphone platform.
But assuming Google intends to operate the business it is purchasing – and also assuming, as seems probable, regulatory approval of the deal – the landscape for Google, and the technology industry more broadly, will change. Some of the implications are clear already.
Perhaps Google wants to be more like Apple, owning an entire ecosystem around Android. For all its success, Android has suffered from “feature balkanisation”, as phone manufacturers and carriers have turned the open source system to their own aims.
Motorola knows how to make good hardware (though it’s been outdone in that regard by Samsung and HTC in the Android market), and one can imagine some excellent devices – once Google controls the outcome, as it did with its initial Nexus One phone (made by HTC) and Nexus S (Samsung).
Read the whole story at: Why Google had to have Motorola Mobility | Dan Gillmor | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.